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Comment: KDE, Canonical, Mozilla, and GNOME (Score 1, Offtopic) 71

by Dimwit (#47361181) Attached to: Improv Project, Vivaldi Tablet Officially Dead

KDE, Canonical, and GNOME have all made this huge push into stupid design decisions lately. Canonical with Ubuntu Phone/Tablet and Mir, GNOME with GNOME 3 and treating the desktop like a tablet, Mozilla with FirefoxOS, and KDE with this sort of stuff.

You know what I want out of an open source desktop? A DESKTOP! Seriously. I need a good desktop environment for my COMPUTER where I do actual work. I can't write code on a tablet. I can't write papers on a tablet. I can't do serious design work (anywhere, because I'm not a designer, but specifically also not on a tablet).

If I want to use a tablet, I want to use it to play games and watch movies, and Ubuntu/KDE/GNOME tablets aren't going to have Civilization Revolution, Ticket to Ride, Netflix, or Amazon Instant Video any time soon, so any tablet running those operating systems is going to be just a really crippled computer and a useless tablet.

Comment: Measure blood directly (Score 1) 75

by Dimwit (#47248851) Attached to: Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise In Diabetes Test

It seems as though the big problem with this technology is that it's not measuring blood directly. What are the barriers to placing a sensor more-or-less permanantly inside the body that can test blood directly and the send, via radio or whatever, commands to an external insulin pump to dispense insulin?

I'm guessing "blood clots" is the problem here, but I don't know.

Comment: Re:This will hugely backfire... (Score 1) 422

by Dimwit (#47234673) Attached to: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

The Republican Party publishes an official platform. Two of the issues on the official platform are restricting access to abortion (i.e. interfering with a woman's rights to her own body) and opposing same-sex marriage (i.e. interfering with two consenting adults' rights to choose whom they marry)...

So, no, I didn't pull it out of my ass. It's right on their official website.

Comment: Durability? (Score 0) 298

by Dimwit (#47066271) Attached to: Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

Existing GPS systems can be essentially all solid-state. There are no moving parts, and the temperature tolerance can be made to handle pretty extreme tempteratures.

Existing technology isn't going to make something like this durable. I don't know enough abou laser cooling, but that might be the best bet and even it probably has a lot of fairly-easy-to-encounter failure modes.

Comment: Re:Chlorrophyll makes a big assumption (Score 4, Informative) 46

by Dimwit (#46900371) Attached to: Astronomers Calculate How To Spot Life On an Alien Earth

It's not so much a big assumption as it is a starting point. There is probably a biosphere somewhere in the Universe that uses a red or yellow pigment for photosynthesis. The problem is that detecting it at a distance is much harder, because while we might see the spectral signature we couldn't be sure that it's life.

Looking for a biosphere that is very similar to that of Earth makes it much more likely that we'll be able to detect that it is in fact "life" and not something else. While we may miss 99% of the life in the Universe with this approach, if/when we do detect it, our confidence will be much higher.

Comment: I use Ubuntu (Score 5, Insightful) 55

by Dimwit (#46893231) Attached to: Canonical (Nearly) Halts Development of Ubuntu For Android

I use Ubuntu as my desktop, because while I like Arch and Slackware, I'm too old to spend time futzing with getting backups to work or writing custom trayer configurations or whatever. (And when I finally got everything I wanted on Arch, half of GNOME or KDE was installed anyway, so I didn't really see the point.)

Anyway, you know what I wish Canonical would work on? Ubuntu for Computers. I don't need yet another mobile operating system; Android is there, iOS is there, Windows Phone is there, FirefoxOS is there. There's nothing that Ubuntu Touch is going to offer that isn't done better somewhere else. All it's doing is cannibalizing resources from Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server. Working on Mir just creates divisions within the open source community; there's nothing wrong with Wayland.

So yeah, Canonical, don't just jump on the mobile bandwagon. You have a core product, focus on it.

Comment: Rising Stars and Midnight Nation (Score 1) 276

by Dimwit (#46535661) Attached to: Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Once upon a time there was going to be a Rising Stars miniseries/movie. Any word on that? What about more comics in that franchise?

Also, Midnight Nation...any word on a miniseries or movie of that?

(Also, for any Slashdotters who haven't read Rising Stars and Midnight Nation, both are very much worth reading.)

Comment: Dearth of Applicants (Score 2) 397

by Dimwit (#46528377) Attached to: Jesse Jackson To Take On Silicon Valley's Lack of Diversity

I've worked in tech for 15-20 years now. Since about 2005, I've sat on interview panels.

In all that time, I've interviewed maybe three black people (two of whom ended up getting hired). Same with women. It wasn't that we were intentionally ignoring resumes we thought were from black people or women, we just simply did not ever get them.

I went to college at a school that had a large black student body (although it wouldn't be classified under the "Historically Black College" scheme). Looking at their website, the college is 52% white, 27% black, 10% hispanic white, 3% Asian. However, in my CS101 class (~50 students), it was all white and Asian guys and one white girl (who ended up changing majors).

The high school I went to was roughly 50/50 black/white, but my AP Computer Science class in high school was 100% white. There was actually a pretty good split of girls and boys, though (it was the only "computer" class that offered honors credit, so there was an attraction to people who wanted high class-placement even if they weren't interested in CS).

So yeah. While I don't doubt some corporations are biased in their hiring practices, there also just aren't a lot of black of female applicants, and not a lot of black and/or female CS graduates. I don't know how to address that end of the problem.

% A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back the when it begins to rain. -- Robert Frost